Sports during the pandemic

For those so inclined, the televising of live sporting events has provided some relief from the limitations we find ourselves living under, even as we in New York State cannot attend the events in person.  There is only so much binge watching of dramas and sit-coms that a person can handle.

My wife Sophia and I got to see an exhibition baseball game in Florida (Astros versus Nationals) in late February before things started shutting down.  That seems like ten years ago.

Major league baseball, however, did come to Buffalo this year for the first time in what, 105 years?  It was interesting to see some of the Blue Jays games televised from Sahlen Field.  For you Yankee fans, your heroes were playing and temporarily residing right here in downtown Buffalo!  Go Jays!

Baseball has long been an interest of my, dating back to the games I attended with my dad at Offermann Stadium.  Note to Steve Cichon:  have you done a throwback Tuesday concerning that old field?

BlueJaysWhile I did not see any in-person regular season baseball games this year, my two-dimensional cardboard cutout (KenK) did, positioned in a great seat at Sahlen Field.  Seen here, KenK attended all 26 Blue Jays home games in Buffalo, his favorite being the shellacking that the Jays gave the Yankees on September 7th.  At the end of the season he traveled to Canada for a few days and then last week wound up on my front porch.  I don’t know how he got through customs twice, but he is now safely home.

What will happen with baseball in 2021 is still anyone’s guess.  Juggled scheduled, fewer games, few fans in the stands are likely.  The fate of minor league baseball is even more muddled.

The Sabres season ended early, which was probably just as well.  I don’t follow the team closely enough to comment in any way about their draft selections, signings or other personnel moves so we’ll see what it all brings when the next season starts.  It seems strange how the Pegula football franchise is well managed and performing well while the hockey team seems to have trouble navigating revolving doors.

The tentative start of the NHL’s next season is early January; emphasis on the word tentative.  The league did an incredible job with their playoff bubble arrangements but that won’t work for a season that is going back to home cities.  Another big complication is that there are seven franchises in Canada that will have to temporarily form their own division.  So, we’ll see.

The NBA also did well with their Disneyworld bubble end-of-season and playoffs and they are now working on a home-city schedule that will probably start before Christmas.  Traveling, sequestering and playing a full season will present difficulties for all the leagues until COVID testing is further refined and the distribution of vaccines starts to kick in.  Wondering:  where do professional sports teams stand in the pecking order of vaccine distribution?

College sports, particularly football, have had serious scheduling problems as large numbers of players and staffs on some teams have contracted the virus and some games have had to be cancelled or postponed.  That doesn’t seem like a particularly surprising development considering infection rates on some campuses.

And then there is the NFL.  With a couple of postponements and schedule adjustments, two of which affected the Bills, the season is nearly two-thirds complete and they are still marshaling on.

The Bills have had a very good run thus far.  The end-of-the-game loss to Arizona was as much a fluke as anything.  At 7 wins and 3 losses at the bye week they have a good shot at the division title, although Miami and New England are continuing to breathe down their necks.  The team has a good shot at an 11-5 or 10-6 finish and a playoff appearance.  The challenge this year will be getting past the first round.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family the best Thanksgiving that is possible in 2020.  Stay safe.  As they say on CBS, stay positive; test negative.

2 thoughts on “Sports during the pandemic

  1. I attend very few Bills/Sabres games because I’ve been priced out. It would be easy to blame high priced athletes but it is equally plausible the culprit is the growing income disparity we suffer in this country. I honestly don’t know the answer, just the result.
    The notion of being insulted by someone sitting or kneeling never crosses my mind. I stand with hat in hand for the anthem and I could care less what the person next to me or on the field does. But I tend to mind my own business. I am also not gullible enough to fall for some huckster ginning up false outrage.


  2. I cannot in good faith patronize a Bills game. I do not patronize teams that introduce politics into sports. I do not patronize a sports team that kneels or stays in the locker room during the national anthem as an anti-american protest to our country. Sports has always had a taxpayer subsidized component to its viability. Taxpayers have help to build. maintain, remodel sports stadiums. It is an insult for a Sports Franchise to accept such monies from the taxpayer and then reciprocate with an FU back in the taxpayers face. It is an insult to the taxpayer and an affront to the family friendly entertainment that sports have always represented. Congratulations. Your anti-americanism ingratitude and insult has turned off my lifelong support and I am sure the life long support of other families that patronized the Bills Team. I would expect the govt to be far more hesitant to allocate taxpayer funds to support the bills when the Bills are so weak to confront their players with their obligations as employees of the Bills Franchise and so quick to insult both the customers, patrons and taxpayers who support the Bills Franchise


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